AUBURN — Ryan Crockett came to St. Dominic Academy on Saturday afternoon ready to play. 

The Old Orchard Beach junior put up 40 points in the Seagulls’ 95-53 victory over the Saints in both boys basketball teams’ season opener. 

Crockett scored 29 points in the first half, a career high.

“I had 26 in a half once, but nothing like that,” Crockett said. “We knew it was the first game coming out, so we had to come out hot and that’s exactly what we did. We were shooting pretty well, so we were pretty lucky.”

Crockett came out firing. The guard dropped 17 points in the first quarter along with four of his 13 rebounds. Whether it was a drive to the hoop, a free throw or a 3-pointer, Crockett was scoring from all over the court.

“Last year he was our top scorer and captain, so this year we have done a lot of work this summer,” Seagulls coach Matthew Regan said. “We’ve done a lot with working on transition and getting the ball up fast. He did a good job of pushing the pace and getting to the rim, and when he does, he finishes. He had a great game and I think he also worked hard defensively. And I think he had 13 rebounds to help transition to the offense.”

St. Dom’s scored nine in both the first and second quarters with Michael Stowe leading the way with four points. 

First-year Saints coach Joshua LaPrell said he liked his team’s effort, despite Crockett’s offensive output.

“He drove and hit anything he threw up,” LaPrell said. “The hard part is our margin for error is slim, and they just didn’t miss any shots, it felt like. That made it hard. Game plan-wise I thought it was good, and maybe I have to get them ready to play, but the kids played hard in their first game.”

Crockett scored 12 more points in the second quarter, and Zac LaPlante and Brady Croteau each added four points in the frame for Old Orchard, which led 47-18 at the break.

Crockett played with the same ferocity in the third quarter.

“We’ve blown games in the third before and let games slip away, so we knew we had to come out hot and keep the pressure,” Crockett said.

Crockett scored 11 in the third before sitting in the fourth quarter. He also grabbed nine rebounds in the third quarter. 

LaPlante, Old Orchard Beach’s center, took down four rebounds in the third. The Seagulls’ size was a problem for the Saints. 

“We have some good size, and they’re pretty athletic for their height,” Regan said. “We have no seniors on the team and we return everyone we had last year, so we aren’t trying to do any different things. I was a little worried, with the first game of the season  you never know how it’s going to go, but they played well.”

Eighth-grader Marshal Adams scored seven of his nine points in the second half for the Saints, while fellow eighth-grader Eli St. Laurent scored seven of his 10 in the final two quarters. 

LaPrell is excited about his team’s youth and what that can mean for the future of the program. 

“They played really well,” LaPrell said. “The biggest thing I keep reminding them is to not get frustrated. They did a nice job not letting the game overwhelm them. They’ve played a lot of basketball, and I thought they played really well in their first varsity game as eighth-graders.”

St. Laurent and Gabe Carey scored 10 each to lead the Saints. 

LaPlante finished with 14 points for Old Orchard Beach, while Landen Johnson chipped in 13. 

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